The Mayor of Barnsley's 23-mile charity walk turns into a marathon.

The Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor James Michael Stowe and his team of mighty supporters took to the Trans Pennine Trail on Saturday to tackle a 23-mile walk across the width of Barnsley to raise money for the Mayor’s Charities, Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted and Barnsley Hospice. Not only did they complete the walk in under eight hours, but they also walked an extra three miles, turning it into the Mayor’s Marvellous Marathon!

The walk began bright and early on Saturday morning from Dunford Bridge and finished at Pastures Lodge and Hotel in Mexborough. Despite following the designated route, it came as some surprise to the team when they had to walk an additional three miles to reach the finish line, making it a 26-mile walk, as opposed to the anticipated 23.

The walking conditions certainly weren’t on their side with grey sky and rain throughout the day, but it certainly didn’t dampen their spirits, which were lifted further by fabulous support from passers-by on the trail and the influx of donations being made along the way.

The mayor was joined by the Leader of Barnsley Council, Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Dan Jarvis MP and a number of councillors. They were also joined by a team from Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL); a team from Berneslai Homes, including Chief Executive, Amanda Garrard; representatives from Barnsley Hospice and a number of other council employees and keen hikers - bringing the group to around 30 participants taking part in all or part of the walk.

The main reason for organising the walk was to raise money for the mayor’s Barnsley-based charities which provide invaluable services for local people, and the mayor is overwhelmed by the sponsors and donations received so far via his JustGiving page which has already more than doubled its target.

The mayor said: “Wow! What a day we had completing my charity walk – it was a truly magnificent day that exceeded all my expectations. It was wet and rained on and off from the offset, but it didn’t make any difference to our spirit or determination – in fact, it just added to our camaraderie. The support we received along the way was incredible – cyclists, dog walkers, and we even encountered Penistone Park Runners along the way, but we resisted joining in.

“At the back of our minds during the 26 miles was my charities who do amazing work to help local people and made every step worth it to champion all they do and raise invaluable funds.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of my fellow hikers who took part in the walk and well done to them all for their relentless grit and determination, despite a few blisters, aches and pains and wet feet. Finally, a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your kind donations – I will be leaving my JustGiving page open until the end of August, so please dig deep and donate if you can – surely those extra three miles are worth a donation.

“I’m already planning my next charity walk but I think I’ll rename the next one The Mayor’s Magnificent Marathon, so watch this space.”

To make a donation, please visit the Just Giving page which will remain open until the end of August.  

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